Senators Mike Lee and Patrick Leahy asked that the email privacy bill be pulled from the Judiciary Committee’s agenda Thursday. This makes it look like it will be a bumpy road for this bill, as it’s markup was already delayed a week prior to this. This bill is an amendment from John Cornyn the Senates Majority Whip that if passed, would allow the FBI the ability to use National Security Letters to obtain information from tech companies without a warrant. Lee made it clear that he is unlikely to change his opposition on this measure.
“Unfortunately, some Senators on the committee have decided late in the day that this bill should be a vehicle to move an unrelated and controversial expansion of the use of national security letters by the FBI. Such an expansion would swallow up the protections this bill offers to the American people. While there are other concerns we had hoped to negotiate, the national security letter amendment is something I cannot in good conscience have attached to this bill,” Senator Lee stated.
“I think if we ca get it to the bipartisan it passes,” Leahy said.
Google and Facebook were among the signatories of a letter saying they would be against legislation with the Cornyn amendment as part of it. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration gave its support for the proposal to transition away from the United States Controlled Domain Name system.
“Today’s announcement marks an important milestone in the U.S. Governments 18-year effort to privatize the internet’s domain name system,” Penny Pritzker, Secretary of Commerce said.
“Today’s announcement by the Obama administration is a clear indication that it has flagrantly violated federal law. This is the latest step in a troubling series of steps that the administration has taken to relinquish its responsibilities, and it should send a concerning message to every American,” Senator Ted Cruz said.